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ET1and ET3

Whether bringing or defending a claim, drafting the ET1 or ET3 is critical.

The ET1 and ET3 Forms are the proscribed forms which must be used in order to commence and defend a claim, and there is certain information which must be included in order for the forms to be accepted.

As such documents form the basis of bringing a claim, or defending it, it is important that time and care is taken in ensuring the necessary information is included on ET1 and ET3.

We have a wealth of experience in bringing and defending Employment Tribunal claims and we can use our expertise to ensure that the legal formalities are taken care of and your claim or defence is drafted in the most advantageous way.


Under Rule 8(1) The Employment Tribunals (Constitution and Rules of Procedure) Regulations 2013 (“The Regulations”) a claim must be initiated using the proscribed form, which is currently the ET1 form.

The information on the ET1 Form forms the basis of the claim. If not all the boxes are complete or it is not clear what the details of the claim is, there may be a very good chance the Employment Tribunal will reject your claim at the outset under Rule 10 of The Regulations or that the other party will seek to strike it out.

It is essential to carefully consider the content and construction of an ET1 before submitting it.

  • Ensure that mandatory sections are completed. These are clearly indicated on the form itself.
  • If the claim requires further explanation (almost all will) attach the “Grounds of Claim” in a separate document setting out a detailed factual explanation of the claim together with the legal basis for those claims.
  • Ensure that the details provided are clear and concise. If you have attached a Grounds of Claim this should be set out in number paragraphs.
  • Ensure that, as far as possible, you clearly identify each of the legal claims you are seeking to bring.

Ensure that you leave plenty of time before the limitation date in case of any administrative or technical problems. Once the Employment Tribunal has received a claim form they will consider whether:

  • The prescribed form has been used.
  • The form contains the required information.
  • It is outside of the tribunal’s jurisdiction.
  • It is in a form which cannot sensibly be responded to.
  • It is otherwise an abuse of process.


If the Employment Tribunal is satisfied in relation to the above points it will accept the claim.



Once the Employment Tribunal has processed the ET1 form it will send a copy to the employer named on the form. There is usually a 28 day time limit in order to submit a response which will be strictly applied by the Employment Tribunal. Ensure this is adhered to. If this deadline is missed the Tribunal has the power to make a default judgment. It is therefore essential that once a claim has been received swift action is taken to consider and properly respond to the claim.

Upon receipt of an ET1 an employer should immediately start gathering information and documentation about the circumstances of the claim in order for them or their legal advisers to draft a response.

The relevant form to use for a response is the ET3 Form. respondents should consider the following points when drafting a response:

  • Whether the claim or part of the claim is out of time, or whether any elements of the claim are not capable of being dealt with by an Employment Tribunal, such as a standalone personal injury claim.
  • Whether there are any claims which clearly have no reasonable prospects of success.
  • If there are claims which are denied or admitted this should be clearly stated in the response.
  • If there are factual circumstances which the respondent is aware of which contradicts the claimant’s version of events these should be included.
  • Where the claim is for unfair dismissal the respondent should provide evidence as to why the dismissal falls under of the potential fair reasons under section 98 of the Employment Rights Act 1996.

If the ET3 is submitted on time and is properly constituted the claim will then progress to either a Preliminary Hearing or Substantive Hearing for the issues to be determined.


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